Published: March 23rd 2012March 23rd 2012
Hi guys! this is my first blog in a long long time! Im pretty sure i havent sat infront of this blog screen since.....New Zealand. Of course I was busy working in Sydney where as Andy was just sat about most of the time. For a couple of sentences from me on that; I loved Sydney I worked in a great bar and made some amazing friends, It really gave me the feeling I was living in Sydney and not just traveling through. More importantly friends have been made that should last the test of time!
Sooo I believe Andy has caught the blog up to the point of leaving Sydney and starting our East coast travels.
Andy and Alex left two days before me and started their greyhound bus adventure visiting; Newcastle, Coffs Harbour and other such places. The plan being to meet up in Byron bay the first big tourist spot and also the most Easterly point of Australia. I stayed for two reasons the first was i had to finish my weeks notice at work and have a 'civilized' leaving drinks with the work crew. My brief return to the hospitality scene has really reminded me how the term civilized lasts about as long as scotlands six nations aspirations when faced with a more or less open bar for employees. The second reason was that I was waiting for my good mate Rob to join us, having finished his cruisliner contract in Sydney he was up for a relaxing jaunt up the East coast before returning to Blighty.
We left Sydney by air flying straight to Byron a day or so ahead of the other two, It was great to get a view of sydney; the harbour bridge, opera house, bays and marina's a great goodby to a city that I came to know and love.
The closest Airport to Byron bay is about half an hours drive in a sleepy little town called Ballina, I have nothing to say on Ballina there truly are no words, except perhaps if you havent heard of it; have visited Oz with out a stop there, there is no need to threat it will not change your live and you will forget it the moment you leave. Byron Bay on the other hand is incredible, I have always said that my favourite place in the world was cryode bay in devon, I had family holidays there and it reminds me of happy times, Byron seriously, seriously questioned this view. We spent in total just under a week there and it was just perfect, the weather the scenery the 'vibe' a true seaside town.
We took a day trip out of Byron to visit a town called Nimbin, the easiest way to describe it is woodstock circa 1969. It is a small town about an hour back from the coast that although complete with a fully functioning police station has a relaxed approach to cannibis use and retail. It is a hippy settlement turned into a town, people walk up to you on the streets in the middle of the day offering anything from mushrooms through acid to weed. Every where you look there are posters campaigning to legalise cannibis use, but the irony being I have never in my life seen a better advert for why it should remain illegal. If the residents moved slower they would be immobile, and only the helpful receptionist in the tourist information centre seemed capable of anything more than vacant expressions. Cannibis may not kill you, but it will render you useless to everyday live it seems, you have been warned people!
The best bit about Nimbin for me having never really had an interest in such things (alcohol is my drug of choice and I would never cheat on her) was how we got there and back. The roads were clearly built by the irish with no Roman influence, corner to corner to corner in our hired car a nippy and responsive if underpowered Proton presented me with a challenge and a great deal of enjoyment. It was hired in my name and on my credit card so i drove, I love driving something I get from my dad i believe and it was great fun flying along Australian back roads. On the way back we took a detour to visit some waterfalls in the area, we took a risk and went for the lesser known and lesser visited falls, the risk paid off fantastically. see pictures! a great few hours was spent swimming in the splash pool and diving off the rocks through the cascading fall!
The three of us and Rob parted ways after Byron us onwards to Surfers paridise and Rob back home. Surfers paradise is a strange places, huge sky scrapers nestled together metres from an ildylic beach, in a town that really doesnt seem big enough to warrant them. They are all hotels or holiday appartment blocks not offices, theres nothing in Surfers but sun, sand and tourism its great for a relaxing few days especially after how hard we'd worked in Sydney to rebolster wanning bank accounts. It also presented us with our favourite hostel to date so a shout goes out to Surf and Sun! a small hostel but with a great atmosphere and helpful staff alonside a good size pool with volleyball net and basketball hoop, games insued! The best night for me in surfers was the one where we went out for one drink and one drink only just to check out a bar. I can hear the skepticism as i write this, no one will believe that we went out for one drink. To add weight to my story i'll explain; the hostel put on an event every night and the night in question was a free drink in 'cocktails and dreams' we were so adamnt that we were having 'one' that we didnt even take money just ID. We had our one drink and were just preparing to depart when a pretty girl appeared and told us that they were holding a free pool competition would we like to play. Well Andy and I both fancy ourselves as pretty good so we said yes. The competition (for a $50 dollar bar tab i should add) was a knock out system with two pools approaching the final. We were both playing well but not really paying attention to each other bar a couple of glances at the other table, I won my semi final with a superb black double (against the boyfriend of the organiser....it was meant to be a simple set up i believe for them to get free drinks) I looked up and who should I see as the grinning winner of the other semi final. $50 already in the bag the final became a bit of a farce shots from behind the back, chip shots and doubles, well from me anyway Andy it seems is a competitive child. With free money the night understandably escalated!